The duo team known as Charles Todd brings Inspector Ian Rutledge his most difficult cases in their 22nd outing, A Divided Loyalty.

Rutledge is giving evidence in a case while he walks a fine edge with his superiors. His colleague and war-time friend, Brian Leslie, is the one sent to Avebury where an unidentified woman’s body has been found near the prehistoric stone circle.

But Leslie recognizes the victim, but chooses to keep that information to himself, and then is unable to find the murderer; meanwhile Rutledge is instead sent to find the killer of a second murdered woman found in a recently dug grave.

After solving his case, Rutledge finds himself assigned to take a second look at the case his friend couldn’t solve. He must try to identify the victim and re-do the investigation of his friend, a thankless task to begin with, and his failure would give his superintendent the reason he needs to fire Rutledge.

Aware he’s in a tough situation, Rutledge struggles to find the clues he needs to solve the case, and when he does, it will bring with it the ammunition his superiors need to fire him. The ending puts twists to an unusual climax that puts everyone involved in jeopardy.

For fans of this post-WWI era, the historic details are atmospheric and add to the story in this popular long-running series.